ECSTATIC Eskom bursary beneficiaries with the minister of Public … at the Further Education and Training (FET) College and they hope to make a …
LEONIE LAVEN (18) and her schoolmate, Chandre Waldock (19), who matriculated at the Rietvale High School in 2015, have been given the opportunity to fulfil their dreams of pursuing careers in the engineering field.
This was after they had been awarded bursaries, along with 13 other learners in Ritchie, by the minister of Public Enterpri-ses, Lynne Brown.
This took place at the Rietrivier Primary School on Thursday, 31 March.
The bursaries are funded by Eskom.
The two girls plan to study Mechanical Engineering at the Further Education and Training (FET) College and they hope to make a difference in their community.
According to them, they and the other bursary beneficiaries want to do away with the scourges of alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy and violence that are prevalent in Ritchie.
In order to achieve their aim to turn the tide of poverty in the township around, the other learners said they were planning on pursuing careers in fields like Economics, Aviation, Human Resource Management and Information Technology.
Leonie and Chandre will start with a bridging course in order to improve their matric marks to show that they are determined to put the bursaries to good use.
“I want to prove to everyone that I can achieve a higher place in life, just like the height of my shoe hills,” Leonie said and lifted her feet to show her stilettos.
“I want to make Eskom and the minister proud for reaching out to us. I also want to prove to the youth that it does not matter where you come from.
“You can always realise your dreams through hard work and commitment to your studies.”
Leonie shared her experience of dropping out of school in 2014 because she had fallen pregnant and how she had committed herself to work hard to make up for that lost year.
“I want to be a role model to my child while I raise her, by showing her that by committing oneself to education, one can rise to greater heights.”
On the day of the bursary handover, Brown emphasised that they are trying to avoid situations such as the current generation returning to their grandparents’ impoverished circumstances by offering them the bursaries.
“The initiative was triggered when I attended one of the local matric farewell functions and realised that most of the learners were faced with challenges like sitting at home without financial support to study further.
“Thus I approached Eskom for their assistance in terms of bursaries.”
The minister shared her childhood experience and told the audience that her mother had been a domestic worker and her father a truck driver who had raised her in a small town similar to Ritchie.
“I told myself that I would not end up in that situation and would rather assist my whole family.”
She encouraged the beneficiaries to work hard in making a difference in the lives of their families.
“You have a bright future ahead of you. There is no easier way to break the shackles of poverty than to work hard, even though you do not always get the best results,” she concluded.
She further mentioned the need for the construction of another high school due to the anticipated overcrowding in future.